Friday, December 31, 2010

If I Were An Artist

Each morning I look for trees still in red and gold colors. This morning in Lafayette there was a deep blue dark sky before sunrise and the waning crescent moon with the bright star above it seen through the trees that still have some colored leaves on naked branches. What a glorious sight to behold. If I were an artist I would attempt to capture it on canvas.

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

When I was a little girl my mother allowed my younger sister and me to call random Vallejo numbers at midnight and ask, "Is this one nine five two?" When they'd say we had a wrong number we'd yell, "1952!" Good times. I've done my share of dancing on New Year's Eve and we would have snack attack foods on the table, darts, games, videos and dancing to encourage our children to stay home with us. One memorable Eve in San Francisco Paul squeezed onto our couch with Michael and me while we watched two videos, Alaska and Wild America. Michael and I would dance and of course watch Dick Clark and the ball drop in Times Square and kiss at midnight with a toast of sparkling cider. One year in Concord Michael and I played Chinese checkers with three homes each. We finished it a couple nights later. Making memories is important when that's all there is left. Happy New Year. 2011 here we come. Here's what was happening a while back: December 31, 1843, Nauvoo, Illinois. About fifty musicians and singers sang William W. Phelps' New Year's hymn under Joseph Smith's window.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remembering the Birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Remembering the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith

What Vermont was like in December 1805

Prophet's birthday fits with season
During a year when Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned king of Italy, and Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean, there were no headlines to herald the birth of a humble boy in Sharon, Vt.
His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, barely mentioned her son's birth in her book, "The History of Joseph Smith."
"We had a son whom we called Joseph, after the name of his father; he was born December 23, 1805. I shall speak of him more particularly by and by," she wrote.
Joseph's lowly pre-Christmas arrival in a frame home on Dairy Hill was that of a common man.
But his life was entirely uncommon.
Although times were tough, Joseph was born into a family of faith, unity and industry that prepared him for his future calling as a prophet of God.
Gary Boatwright Jr. and Don L. Enders have both worked for the Church History Department as historic site researchers for many years. T. Michael Smith and Kirk B. Henrichsen have also researched Joseph's birthplace. They were not there for Joseph's birth, but they can paint a picture of the circumstances surrounding the important event.
The background
Following the marriage of Joseph Smith and Lucy Mack Smith in 1796, Enders said a series of unfortunate events led the couple and their three children to Sharon, Vt.
"Life had begun full of promise for Joseph and Lucy. But within six years, shortly after the births of Alvin, Hyrum and Sophronia, they had the very unfortunate circumstance of an economic downturn," Enders said. "There was the misconduct of a business partner of Joseph Smith Sr. There were unwise decisions on their part, and just bad luck. They lost their farm and home. They were destitute. They had to make a living through hard work and labor."
Following the sale of their farm, the family moved from Tunbridge, Vt., to Royalton Township, Vt. The family remained there for a few months until they were offered a small home and adjoining land to rent in Sharon, which Lucy's father, Solomon Mack, had purchased in 1804.
The birth
As the frigid New England winter gripped the Vermont countryside in December 1805, a fire likely provided some warmth in the humble frame home where Joseph Smith and his family lived.
The home was not insulated, Enders said. The walls were likely no more than an inch or two thick, so even when the fireplace roared with flames, the room's temperature remained low. Lucy was likely confined to a bed in the one bedroom, Enders said.
"Winters in Vermont are bitterly cold with lots of snow," Boatwright said.
In those days, Enders said, midwives and other women assisted in the birthing process.
"They knew the process and were pretty darn good," he said.
It's possible that Lucy's mother, Lydia Gates Mack, was present because the Macks lived nearby.
Male doctors were viewed as specialists who supposedly handled difficult situations. Historians think Lucy encountered complications because a doctor was called in to help deliver Joseph.
As prophesied in scripture by Joseph of Egypt, the newborn was named after his father, "And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me; for the thing, which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation" (2 Nephi 3:15).
A doctrinal dissertation by Larry C. Porter published by BYU contains an interesting footnote about the birth of Joseph, although the source is ambiguous. The title of the dissertation is "A Study of the Origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, 1816-1831."
The footnote reads, "I, John D. Springs, M.D., have told a family story concerning Dr. Joseph Denison of South Royalton, Vermont, who delivered Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saints. The story was told my mother by her aunt, Mrs. Louise Elder, who had cleared out the house of Mr. Denison after the death of him and his family. The report was bound in his account books of delivering a son for old Joe Smith. Under a later date he had put a note on the same entry saying, 'If I had known how he was going to turn out I'd have smothered the little cuss.'"
What was Joseph's first Christmas like two days later?
There were no trees or decorations, no Santa and no gifts, Enders said. Those traditions didn't come until later.
"The Smith family was descended from Puritan stock, and Puritans did not celebrate Christmas," Enders said. "Christmas celebrations at that time basically meant attending meetings where there was preaching, not play or activities. Ministers preached about the birth of Christ, his life and mission. Those were solemn days, maybe something of a Christmas feast, but not much beyond."
The monument
One hundred years from the day of the Prophet's birth, President Joseph F. Smith, the sixth president of the LDS Church and nephew of Joseph Smith, dedicated the monument that stands atop Dairy Hill today. The monument is made of granite carved from the Green Mountains of Vermont. The Solomon Mack farm was purchased by Junius F. Wells in 1905. Wells oversaw the construction of the 18-ton monument and a memorial cottage.
On the 200th anniversary of the Prophet's birth, then-LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley addressed church members around the world from the hallowed site.
"Two hundred years ago, on this very day, in this very place, there was born a child who was prophetically named Joseph after the name of his father," he said. "He became the prophet, seer and revelator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gave his life in testimony of the truth. … We are here on this significant anniversary, in the very place of his birth, we pay tribute and honor. We give praise and reverence. We give thanks to the God of heaven for his appointed prophet in this the dispensation of the fullness of times."
e-mail: ttoone@desnews.com

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our 29th Annual Christmas Caroling Party December 21

On December 21st, the winter solstice and night of full moon, after the total lunar eclipse the 20th a dozen souls met for the annual caroling party plus two elders and a friend dropping by as we sat down to potluck dinner. Paul was brought home in time for dinner by his friend having Amtraked from Provo on a four-hour delayed train. What a great gift for me that was. We caroled our neighbors, shook their hands, they took our picture and we enjoyed our sleighbell-carrying singing together with six-year-old Jaden in the lead. Our family was always big enough to carol in case no one else joined us but we've generally had a crowd of a dozen or so. We returned for hot chocolate, hot spiced cider and cranberry herb tea and desserts by candlelight followed by a raucous white elephant gift exchange and late-night visiting. Thank you friends and family for wonderful times and memories. This is our second party without Michael. We all miss him and love him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A CHRISTmas Story

December 17 the historic Provo Tabernacle was gutted by fire. This gorgeous edifice is survived by the figure of Christ salvaged in the ashes.
From the newspaper: Remaining gable of Provo Tabernacle roof razed

By Donald W. Meyers
The Salt Lake TribunePublished Dec 23, 2010 03:42PMUpdated Dec 20, 2010 11:04PM
Provo • The remaining portion of the historic Provo LDS Tabernacle’s roof was taken down Monday, officials said.
Fire Chief D. Blair Camp said the roof gable and brickwork on the west end were removed as part of an effort to stabilize the shell of the 127-year-old building that was destroyed in a Friday fire.
“The contractors that have been hired by the church are working on stabilization, and they have to take a few bricks down here and there,” Camp said. “It’s not going to be anything major.”
Camp said investigators went inside the building Monday, but a full investigation will start after the walls are stabilized and investigators can safely sift through the charred remains of the Tabernacle’s roof, balcony and pews.
The fire was called into dispatchers at 2:43 a.m. Friday, and firefighters who arrived a minute later found the inside of the building ablaze, forcing them to fight the fire from outside.
The fire, which burned until Saturday, gutted the building. Among the items recovered from the fire was a picture depicting Jesus Christ’s second coming still in its frame, with all but the figure of Christ blackened.
The fire launched an outpouring of grief, as residents came down Friday morning to see the burning building. On Sunday, a tribute to the Tabernacle was presented at Utah Valley University, along with a performance of Lex de Acevedo’s “Gloria,” which was to have been performed in the Tabernacle.
The Provo Foundation has established a fund for people to contribute to the Tabernacle’s reconstruction. Deputy Mayor Corey Norman, the foundation’s executive director, said the fund was set up in response to people’s desire to see the Tabernacle rebuilt, even though its future is uncertain.
“I’ve told them from day one that we have no idea what the church is going to decide,” Norman said. “But if that time comes, we want to provide residents an outlet to feel like they are contributing.”
LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the church is waiting for the investigation to be completed before deciding what steps to take.
This gives me goosebumps every time I read it. occ

Monday, December 20, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

Tonight there's a total lunar eclipse and I stayed up to see the entire moon become a giant golden ball. I won't be around for the next one, December 21, 2094. Tomorrow is the first day of winter and a full moon. We've often had our caroling party on the first day of winter.

Moonwatchers treated to total lunar eclipse
Associated Press December 21, 2010 06:47 AM
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle
Time: 11:26:04 PM. The onset of a total lunar eclipse is seen from the San Francisco Bay Area on the night of Monday, December 20, 2010, through the morning of Tuesday, December 21, 2010, the winter solstice for the Northern hemisphere. According to NASA, the eclipse is only one of two total lunar eclipses on the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere in the last 2,000 years. The other was in 1638.
Images View All Images (25)

(12-21) 06:47 PST NEW YORK, (AP) --
Skywatchers got an early holiday present this year: A total eclipse of the moon.
Hanging high in the sky, the moon slowly turned from bright silver into a red disk early Tuesday.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth casts its shadow on the full moon, blocking the sun's rays that otherwise reflect off the moon's surface. Some indirect sunlight still pierces through to give the moon its eerie hue.
The 3 1/2 hour celestial spectacle was visible from North and Central America where skies were clear. Portions of Europe and Asia only caught part of the show.
The totality phase — when the moon was completely immersed in Earth's shadow — lasted 72 minutes.
Since the year's only total lunar eclipse coincided with winter solstice, the moon glowed high in the sky.
The last time this occurred was more than three centuries ago on Dec. 21, 1638. It will happen again on Dec. 21, 2094, according to U.S. Naval Observatory spokesman Geoff Chester.
Lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses.
The next total lunar eclipse will occur in June 2011 and will not be visible from North America.Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/12/19/national/a080058S38.DTL#ixzz18lZdpnKy

Posted on the Christmas Newsletter of Hogan/Vallejo

Twenty-nine years ago our small family went caroling in our San Francisco Parnassus Heights neighborhood including the fire station on Stanyan Street and we've gone caroling every year since, days before Christmas Eve. We moved to a second neighborhood also with a fire station and a third neighborhood with a police station. When our children had their run-ins with the law they still came caroling with us but preferred waiting outside the police station. When we moved to Concord we were just in a neighborhood and enjoy the same route each year, food, hot cider and chocolate, and a white elephant gift exchange. One year unbeknown to me I invited cousins who hadn't seen each other in years until they met at our house. The youngest in the group is asked to carry the jingle bells and we have old music sheets handed out at the McLaren Lodge tree lighting decades ago. One of our carolers sings in the Temple Hill Choir. The rest of us have trouble carrying a tune but we have lots of spirit. A daughter learned the recorder, one son learned the clarinet and sax, one son the trumpet and he favored us with tunes one year. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Olie Conklin-Chavez, 64

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why Didn't I Think of This Before?

I've ordered some of my favorite TV shows on DVD having lamented for years their demise and how much I miss them. Now that I have a decent DVD player and remote I'm ready to be entertained.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

135 Renida Street

This is the address I grew up in but the house looked nothing like this. I planted a small tree on the left side which I later learned was a mulberry that stood bigger than the house. The yard was grassy with an apple and an almond tree in the front and a nectarine off the back porch. I hesitated to put this picture here since it evokes nothing of our modest home but here it is anyway. I was born on Woodrow Avenue, Phil refers to it as the green house, not far away and sometime around 1948 after Rosella was born Mother bought this dwelling built in 1940 for $5,000. I slept in a double bed with my younger sister, and Mother had a walk-through bedroom between the stairs leading to the second floor and the kitchen. None of the lower bedrooms had a closet but there was a wooden portable in the hall just outside the bathroom. We used the upstairs for storage of clothes and furniture unless we needed to rent the downstairs, then we lived upstairs with nothing but a hotplate. Since there is only one bathroom in the house this must have been a challenge. Before Mother died in 1962 we moved in and out of Don and Bev's home on Bonita Court while Mother was hospitalized. Once the mulberry was cut down and the front yard paved over I stopped going there. In talking with Richard and Phil the Davis family lived on Woodrow consisting of the four oldest with their parents. After their divorce Mother married my father and they lived there a while with Phil and Joyce. Don and Rich went to live with their dad. I know my father wanted Mother to get out of the bar and restaurant business. Both Rich and Phil remember me living on York Street as a baby. Rose says she was born in the back room of the Chick Box. When Mother lost the York Street home to foreclosure we may have stayed at the apartment near the bar and restaurant before moving to Renida Street. The kicker is I never knew I lived at the York Street home.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Hawaii Temple

I've been very excited about the Hawaii Temple reopening. There's been an open house, November 20 is the Laie cultural celebration, and it will be rededicated in three sessions November 21. When we visited Hawaii in May 2009 the temple had been closed some six months so we missed our chance to go inside. It has a unique history and was not bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor even though it was targeted. I had a fond dream of being there for the festivities but couldn't find a place to stay during Thanksgiving week near the temple.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marilyn Monroe

I was working at Tip Top Coffee Shop when my coworker came to work and told me Marilyn had died. It was a sad day for me. I've been fascinated by her in musicals and dramas. I doubt there's a movie she was in I haven't seen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buster Posey is Rookie of the Year

Congratulations to Buster Posey. As he hugged teammates after clinching the World Series he still had his catcher's glove on with the ball inside. I love it.

Posey became the sixth Giant and first in 35 years to win the award, which was established in 1947. He joined Willie Mays (1951), Orlando Cepeda (1958), Willie McCovey (1959), Gary Matthews (1973) and John Montefusco (1975). Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/15/SPNM1GCC6I.DTL#ixzz15SukvHOr

2010 dates to celebrate

May 29 - In his season debut, Posey has three RBI singles in four at-bats.
July 1 - In his first game as the regular catcher, Posey homers.
Sept. 21 - In a 1-0 victory, Posey catches a shutout, throws out a runner and hits an eighth-inning homer.
Oct. 3 - Posey homers and catches a shutout, and the Giants clinch the NL West on the final day of the regular season.
Nov. 1 - World champions.
Nov. 15 - Posey is named NL Rookie of the Year.

About Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award
Description from Wikipedia

In Major League Baseball, the Rookie of the Year Award is annually given to one player from each league as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The award was established in 1940 by the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA, which selected an annual winner from 1940 through 1946. The award became national in 1947; Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers' first baseman, won the inaugural award. One award was presented for both leagues in 1947 and 1948; since 1949, the honor has been given to one player each in the National and American League. Originally, the award was known as the J. Louis Comiskey Memorial Award, named after the Chicago White Sox owner of the 1930s. The award was renamed the Jackie Robinson Award in July 1987, 40 years after Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Music and the Spoken Word Inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame


Congratulations to America's choir for this honor. I've seen the choir in the tabernacle and performing in an Oakland venue where Michael and I took a neighbor, MaryLou. I have record albums, cassettes, CDs and videos of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and never fail to enjoy the Sunday morning broadcast on KOIT radio from 7:30 to 8:00.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sunrise, the Temple and a Waning Crescent Moon

This morning the eastern sky sunrise was beautiful in streaks of hot pink and as I passed the Oakland hills there was the beautiful temple with a moon sliver above it. He is the best artist.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Family

Rick and Eve

San Francisco Giants Victory Parade

So at 7 a.m. Concord BART was packed with Giants fans. Dressed in orange and black myself I immediately got a high five from a young guy. I've never seen such fan excitement so early in the morning. Then in the casual carpool car both driver and friend and I talked about baseball and the parade and whether his car would be blocked from getting out and leaving for an appointment. It was bumper to bumper getting into the city and after the 9th Street exit the same. A coworker suggested bringing a stepping stool to the parade which I'm going to do and thankful for the suggestion. The parade starts in a half hour from the financial district and I'll be out to Civic Center ASAP. Temperature was 78*! It's now 3 p.m. I saw alot of the parade being higher on the stool and was at McAllister on Market Street watching labeled rolling cable cars with the players inside. People were in trees, on traffic signals, clinging to the sides of buildings, on balconies and roofs, and even in the windows of boarded up buildings somehow. The crowds headed to Civic Center and I actually got between the area of the last couple flagposts but when nothing could be heard or seen except cheers from the crowd I headed back to work, walking down the middle of blocked-off 8th Street. A woman taking pictures told me, "You look beautiful" and asked if she could take my picture. I was flattered. Again, smells included smoke and pot and I heard some bad language. The crowds were civil and excitement ran high. I was able to watch the Civic Center ceremonies on the news though I think the thong episode was in extreme bad taste and I could swear I saw Posey wince as I did.

Message from BART: "There is a 10-minute delay on the Daly City Line in the SFO, Daly City and East Bay directions due to crowd control for the SF Giants Ticker Tape Parade."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Got a Birthday Present Last Night

The San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Arlington going in 3-1 Giants in Game 5. Way to go Giants, first time in 56 years and first time as San Francisco Giants.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Second World Series, Game One at AT&T Park

I came in early to work October 27 and ended up asking to leave early and walked a brisk half hour to AT&T Park by game time. Of course I didn't have a ticket. It was a beautiful mild San Francisco evening with flags hanging limp and 61*, thankfully. I got myself a World Series Giants National League Champions T off a sidewalk vendor and went back for three more. The boaters, kayakers and swimmers playing ball in the bay were thick and in it for the duration. Balls were being thrown up to walkers and rubber baseballs thrown into the water to tease the boaters. The line to see the game free through the bars was also thick, and long. Smells included smoke and pot, coarse language was to be heard, there was an air of excitement and also consideration for others. Someone took a movie of me eating my pear in my long pig tails with orange bands and Giants cap. A young woman told me she loved my hair and touched it. I started looking for an opening to see the field and realized I was able to see a "TV size" opening through chicken wire at a distance of home plate at Triples Alley. I stayed there watching batters, catcher and runners in through the fifth inning. A toothless guy on bike stood behind me and another guy came and asked if he could snuggle to see my view. I slipped my new T over my old Giants jersey I had tried to give Paul, when it got chilly, and I wanted to be able to say I wore it to the World Series. Back overlooking the kayakers I would start talking to people beside me and enjoying the general air of being thrilled to be at the first game of the World Series. Dogs were donned in Giants Ts and at one point five gorillas sauntered by in orange Department of Corrections jumpsuits. Children were perched on their parent's head. In finding restrooms locked I lucked out seeing someone leave the clinic who allowed me in. Once I had clean hands I made up some bagels and cream cheese and ate the rest of my pear on a metal bench with a view of a TV set at a distance and all the kayakers. Drummers were making great sounds beside me, vendors hawking their programs and food. In walking clockwise around the park I was thrilled with the two dozen tall palms dressed in tiny orange lights and all the wonderful statues of past Giants greats. I walked through the avenue of the palms and watched from a TV with others, all the while trying to dodge smoke. I jumped up and down and screamed for runners. At around 3-1/2 hours the Giants topped the Rangers 11 to 7, my wedding and sealing dates. So just after 8:30 p.m. I was ready to join the masses and walk along the bay to the Ferry Building, adorned in glowing orange light, and me in my orange Giants windbreaker. I got a fright from the hiding bush guy. A man was selling Ts and a young woman snatched one off to the side. I stood in front of her and blocked her with my hand saying, "Hey!" She gave it over and I told the vendor someone had tried to rip him off. The lights reflecting on the calm water was breathtaking and though getting tired I enjoyed my walk very much, all the while feeling glad for the winning Giants. I was also glad when the first BART car was mine. Being squished beside the door with all the fans was not so bad since we were winners, not losers. I couldn't get away without a bathe before bed as we were cheek to jowl for a while, laughing, hooting, and glad for our experience at AT&T watching the Giants win the first game of the World Series.
Game 2, AT&T, watched the last two hours at home. Score: 9-0 Giants
Game 3, Texas, watched innings 5 through 8 at Taqueria Los Comales, Oakland, and at home. Score: 4-2 Rangers
Game 4, Texas, Halloween night. Score: 4-0 Giants
Game 5, Texas, 3-1 Giants. The San Francisco Giants snatch the World Series! Way to go Giants! Great teamwork and commaraderie all around. I started out at Civic Center but hurried home to watch it in comfort instead of sitting on cold cement for hours. I am thrilled for the Giants. The parade is 11 a.m. November 3 in a very excited city.
Paul reminds me he and I went to the 2002 World Series at the Park October 23, ate some food, walked around the stadium a few times, watched it on TVs there, walked back along the Embarcadero and got some hot chocolate. How soon the mind forgets! Thanks to journaling I was able to go back and relive our experience together. Thank you my son for the good times and memories.